PRTC, roadways yet to get Rs 1 crore for student trips to science city
While the payment of Rs 88 lakh is pending to the PRTC, the department owes Rs 25 lakh to the Punjab Roadways for providing educational trips from August 2017 to January 31 this year.punjab Updated: Mar 19, 2018 09:57 IST
The Punjab Roadways and the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) are yet to get Rs 1.10 crore from the state education department for taking students on educational trips to Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala, under the Mukh Mantri Vigyan Yatra scheme.
While the payment of Rs 88 lakh is pending to the PRTC, the department owes Rs 25 lakh to the Punjab Roadways for providing educational trips from August 2017 to January 31 this year.
Education department officials said the Congress government after coming to power last year had slashed the transportation budget under the scheme from Rs 5 crore to Rs 1 crore for the 2017-18 session.
The department paid Rs 3 crore from the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Sikhsha Abhiyan (RMSA) funds for tickets purchased for the visiting the science city.
PRTC managing director (MD) Manjit Singh Narang said, “We have sent the Rs 88 lakh bill to the education department. We have taken up the matter with the authorities concerned.”
The Mukh Mantri Vigyan Yatra scheme was launched by the previous SAD-BJP government during the 2016-17 session to apprise students of various scientific developments.
Dera stir, notification delay hit trips
Officials said against the education department’s target of 2.5 lakh students visiting the science city during the academic year, only 1.5 lakh students turned up.
Many schools did not organise visits due to the Dera Sacha Sauda unrest in the wake of sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction and arrest, they said.
Also, the science city trips were supposed to be organised from May onwards but the Congress government issued a notification to the education department for the same later, delaying the trips by two months.
Sources said science city and education department officials had met secretary (school education) Krishan Kumar in January who sent the file to the revenue department for payment of pending bills.
The revenue department has not paid the bills so far. Kumar could not be reached for comments.
First Published: Mar 19, 2018 09:54 IST